Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Reviews | Self-Improvement & Narrative Nonfiction

It looks like many of us around the world will continue to spend a good bit of time at home in the coming weeks as we see spikes in the number of new coronavirus cases. During the past several months, I've been reading through the books on my to-read bookshelf as well as re-reading books from our personal library here at home. So, this week I'll be catching up and sharing reviews of the books I've read this year with the hope that you'll find one or two of interest to keep you inspired or entertained in the days ahead. Today's offering includes three self-improvement guides and one narrative nonfiction.

A self-improvement (or self-help) book can be defined as a book written with the explicit intention of helping its readers change or improve some aspect of their personal or professional lives. 


Sink Reflections is a look at Flylady's (Marla Cilley) plan for maintaining a clean and decluttered home. It is written for people who need help and simple directions for getting and staying organized. I consider myself one of the Born Organized people that Flylady says probably don't need her system, but I enjoyed the re-read before placing it in the box of books we sold at Half Price Books right before the pandemic closed everything down back in March.

Feel the Fear ... and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers shares "dynamic techniques for turning fear, insecurities, and anger into power, action, and love." This was a good easy read to help us discover what we fear and why, how to silence the negative chatterbox in our minds, and ways to create more meaning in our lives. This book was recommended in an entrepreneur group I participate in and has been on my to-read shelf (partially read) for a couple of years.

I purchased Ruth Soukup's newest book, Do It Scared, when it first came out last May. This is a really good book that encourages us to take the Fear Archetype Assessment and discover what fears are keeping us from moving forward and making changes in our life.The book is divided into three sections: (1) a description of each of the Fear Archetypes, (2) details on the Principles of Courage, and (3) implementation strategies for Courage in Action.

Narrative Nonfiction 
Narrative nonfiction is sometimes called creative nonfiction and is a true story written in the style of a fiction novel. This is my favorite way to read history because I find it easier and more enjoyable to read than a textbook style book.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote reconstructs the investigation of the murder of four members of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, in November of 1959. They were killed by a shotgun held just a few inches from their faces in their home, and there was no apparent motive and almost no clues. This book, which I purchased and had on my to-read shelf for a couple of months, is extremely well-written and provides the suspense of a thriller novel.

Have you read any of these books? Please share your thoughts in the comments, along with your suggestions for additional self-improvement and narrative nonfiction books.


  1. Believe it or not, I read In Cold Blood in installments in The New Yorker my senior year in high school. I was sick with a really bad sinus infection and frustrated about having to stay home from school. My dad brought the magazines in for me to read. I've never forgotten it!

  2. I've not read any of these books (always appreciate referrals & recommendations). I use to get The Fly Lady's daily emails, but after a few weeks I stopped, it was too much for a daily emails as I was already fairly organized & had a good routine.


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